Grizzly bears were so feared and respected by Native Americans that hunting them required a company of 4 to 10 warriors and was done with the same preparation and ceremoniality as intertribal warfare
Native American tribes whose territories overlapped with those of grizzly bears often viewed them with a mixture of awe and fear. North American brown bears were so feared by the Natives that they were rarely hunted, especially alone. When Natives hunted grizzlies, the act was done with the same preparation and ceremoniality as intertribal warfare, and was never done except with a company of 4 to 10 warriors. The tribe members who dealt the killing blow were highly esteemed among their compatriots. Californian Indians actively avoided prime bear habitat, and would not allow their young men to hunt alone, for fear of bear attacks. During the Spanish colonial period, some tribes, instead of hunting grizzlies themselves, would seek aid from European colonists to deal with problem bears. Many authors in the American west wrote of Natives or voyagers with lacerated faces and missing noses or eyes due to attacks from grizzlies.